MCC 670 – Clinical Hypotheses

“The ‘H’ in the acronym SOHP stands for hypothsis section – a shorter heading than formulation discussion that incorporates clinical hypotheses.  As explained in Chapter 1, all theories are bundles of hypotheses.  You have several choices for creating your formulation: (1) use a formulation that is based on a single theoretical approach; (2) use a ready-made integrative formulation; (3) use an empirically supported treatment model; (4) create your own integrative formiulation” (Ingram, 2013, p. 87).

What is Hypothesis?

“A Hypothesis is a single explanatory idea that helps to structure data about a way that leads to better understanding, decision making and treatment choice.” (Ingram 2012 p. 111).  Ingram, (2012), suggests utilzing a three page worksheet to organize your thoughts with: (1) data in the first column; (2) hypotheses in the second column; and (3) ideas for a plan in your final column, (p. 86).

Common Errors…

This system is useful in preventing you frm developing hypothess that have no basis in data you have gathered.  There are three common errors therapists make according to Ingram, (2012).

  1. ERROR #1:  The formulation/hypothesis lacks supporting data.
  2. ERROR #2: The formulation is not supported by data.
  3. ERROR #3:  The formulation omits a strong hypothesis.

Common Mistakes…

  1. “The hypotheses section does not introduce new data” (Ingram, 2012, p. 90).
  2. “The hypothesis section focuses on the specific problem of the specific client” (Ingram, 2012, p. 91).
  3. “Hypotheses all lead to treament plans” (Ingram, 2012, p. 92).
  4. “Hypotheses are discussed with professional-level thinking and writing skills” (Ingram, 2012, p. 94).

 Book contains 30 hypotheses in 7 Categories…

Thes hypothes are based on theories of psychotherapy, new approaches, and empirically suported treatment (Ingram, 2012).   Each category begins with an overview of the theory and/or empirically supported treatment it is based on.  For example, the Behavior and Learning Models are based on behavioral analysis and therapy.  Key concepts from this theoretical perspective are discussed at the beginning of the chapter for review before the hypotheses falling under this category are reviewed.    Each hypothesis the begins with a summary that includes a title, definition, explanation, and examples of cases for which this hypothesis is applicable.  Next under each hypothesis is a discussion of key ideas, treatment planning ideas, and tips to determine its usefulness and applicability in specified cases, along with suggested readings.


Ingram, B.L. (2012). Clinical Case Formulations: Matching the Integrative Treatment
​Plan to the Client. (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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